The summer solstice is when Earth's axis tilts most directly toward the sun, making for the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). This year, the summer solstice occurs this Saturday, June 21, at 6:51 a.m. (EST).
Legends and rituals from different cultures imbue the day with great significance and deep meaning, but suffice it to say they mostly revolve around light, fertility, abundance, love, romance, and good luck for the rest of the year. What other excuse do you need to celebrate?
Here are 21 quick and easy ways to enjoy the longest day of the year--the first day of my favorite season: summer!
1. Make a bonfire.
2. Light candles.
3. Go skinny-dipping.
4. Say hello to an oak tree.
5. Listen to Kenny Chesney sing "Summertime." Preferably while driving.
6. Look for fireflies (I've even seen them in New York City!).
7. Make a wish.
8. Sit in the sun and soak up the D.
9. Dream of what happily ever after looks like for you.
10. Pick flowers...
11. Put them in your hair (if you have hair).
12. If you're feeling ambitious, make a flower crown!
13. Kiss somebody or something, even if it's just a dog.
14. Wear yellow, orange, or red.
15. Eat an organic peach!
16. Better yet, eat some organic cherries--they're in season now!
17. Have some lemonade. Outside. In a rocking chair.
18. Be thankful for everything, especially love.
19. Decide to be happy. In fact, insist on it!
20. Take a picture of the sunlight to remind you of this beautiful day.
21. Shine! Shine your light and share it with everyone around you!
Happy summer solstice!
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com